GETTING an upgrade on a flight is probably the holy grail of passenger experiences – I know I've seen people try all sorts to try and get one.
You wouldn't believe how much effort people take to try and convince us that they should be given a seat in first class, as if we have an endless supply of spare seats to hand out.
If – and it's a big if – we are able to give you an upgrade, there's a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of getting to turn left when you board.
In this, my latest weekly blog for Sun Online Travel, I'll explain the simplest thing you can do to make us consider putting you up at the front – and it's all a matter of timing.
The first thing that could help your cause is being friends with, or at least knowing, one of the cabin crew members.
We always put more effort in with our friends. Sorry but that's just the way it works.
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Even then, however, you're not guaranteed to get moved up a class. In fact, a lot of people make mistakes when they're friends with the flight crew that could work against them.
If you and a crew member are friends, or even if you've got a few degrees of separation from someone on the plane, you might think you should board first and say hello.
But schmoozing them that way will probably not get you a better seat.
Think about it – we're really busy, we have to board the rest of the plane, there'll be people constantly getting on, it's chaos.
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We don't have time, nor do we know at that point how many spare seats we have.
The best thing to do is wait until the very end and board with the final group because obviously if you're the last person, we've got a lot more time to deal with you and to talk to you.
If you want to try your luck, hold back, wait to the very end because then we'll have some idea of the spaces they've got and if they can put you somewhere nice.
There are also a couple of things you can do in the airport before you board that might increase your chances too.
I've seen upgrades given to couples on their honeymoon and people celebrating special birthdays, that kind of thing.
We might be there primarily for your safety, but we also want to make sure you're going to have a good flight, so we will do everything we can to improve the experience, if it's possible.
Your best bet is to just tell everyone throughout the whole process from arrival at the airport to boarding the plane.
That includes the check-in desk, the bag drop people, the security guys and of course the gate staff.
You never know who is able to help you out and that way you will increase your chances of finding someone willing to give you an upgrade.
Ultimately, it's unlikely that you will be given better seats, but if you use everything you have at your disposal, you'll give yourself a better chance.
And if not, you could at least get yourself some freebies.
If it is your honeymoon or birthday, we might be able to give you a bottle of bubbly or something to at least make your journey more enjoyable, even if you aren't in first class.
You could also be given lounge access in the airport for instance. There are lots of ways to improve your trip, without sitting in the comfier seats for the actual flight.
So hang back, board the plane last, especially if you're friends with the cabin crew and use whatever you can to let us know that you're worthy of extra care.
It may not work out for you, but if you find the right person on the right day, it could get you a first class upgrade, with all the perks that come with it.
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Meanwhile this frequent flyer revealed how they sometimes manage to get upgrades on plane journeys.
And this flight attendant explained how to improve your chances of sitting in first class.
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